Ekinoid: computer rendering.

The Ekinoid Project: Goals

  • Designing the Ekinoid home in such a (bolt-together, colour-coded) way that it can be built onsite by cooperating individuals: You build your own home; you help others build theirs.
  • That an Ekinoid home can be completely constructed within one week.
  • The Ekinoid home should be suitable for many different environments (grazing land, reclaimed land, marginal land, moorland, desert, tundra, bush, flood plains etc.).
  • With the average two-bedroom house in the UK weighing 152 tonnes* there is a global need for a (modular) house of similar size and robustness which weighs far less and therefore uses far less materials: The goal for the Ekinoid home is that they should each come in under 20 tonnes (excluding supporting columns, stairwell, white goods, exterior water tanks etc.).
  • A spherical surface, being composed of compound curves, is inherently more difficult to design for than a flat surface. However, we think the simple solution to this difficulty is to use materials that are flexible, pliant and non-load bearing, rather than rigid and load bearing. What we intend is for flexible skins to be applied to a light, extremely strong, load-bearing frame. This principle will extend to insulation as well as to internal and external skins.
  • Our goal is to make individual Ekinoids not only fully energy self-sustaining but also putting excess electricity into a local grid: via the use of a VAWT (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine) (on the roof) and/or by extensive use of solar panels.
  • By using the stairwell as a multi-level hydroponic greenhouse (using gravity-fed water from roof runoff: it is estimated the average UK house roof, for example, can capture 24,000 litres of rainwater annually) each family should aim to be fully self-sufficient for basic vegetable foodstuffs.
  • All the land beneath each Ekinoid home is accessible (and sheltered). This would present a variety of uses for each family, parking, storage, gardening, rearing livestock etc., - and it would be entirely possible to attach panels via the three columns to dramatically extend enclosed space for each home.

Key

*
"In 2003, SEI undertook an analysis of four different household categories (Wiedmann et al, 2003). This analysis calculated that the average weight of a new home in the UK was 117 tonnes. Taking into account the issues listed above, it is estimated that 152 tonnes of materials (PDF file; page 8: 269kb in size) are required to build the average home in the UK. According to the English Housing Conditions Survey, produced by the DCLG, the average floor space of a new house is 85.5 m2. This is marginally higher than the average in the UK, approximately 82 m2. Therefore, providing one m2 of floor space for an on-site site house requires 1.8 tonnes of materials."